Plato, Philosophy, And Philosophy

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“Plato is philosophy, and philosophy, Plato.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. This was the first quote I read regarding Plato when I first picked up the Great Dialogues of Plato, and turned it over to read the back cover. This quote struck me for some unknown reason and I instantly couldn’t wait to begin reading the dialogues of Plato and begin to understand why he is regarded as one of the great philosophers. The first piece I read, was The Apology, spoken by the great philosopher Socrates and written down by his student Plato. The Apology was Socrates defense in the Athenian court against accusations that were falsely brought upon Socrates. The charges brought against Socrates was that he was a corruptor of the youth and that he believed in supernatural phenomena of his own invention rather than the gods of the state. At first, the dialogue was a smidge difficult for me to read, but as I began getting more involved in the reading and understanding more how Socrates talks, it became much easier to understand the content behind his words. Not once did Socrates beg and cry the jury for his life, but he rather defended his philosophy. While reading The Apology by Socrates, I learned many things, the most notable being: it is important to know oneself, wisdom does not come from specialized knowledge, and that one should focus on the pursuit of truth and of improving of one’s soul. Perhaps the most important of messages I took away from Socrates The Apology, is the notion of
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